from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Incapable of being corrected or reformed: an incorrigible criminal.
  • adj. Firmly rooted; ineradicable: incorrigible faults.
  • adj. Difficult or impossible to control or manage: an incorrigible, spoiled child.
  • n. One that cannot be corrected or reformed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. defective and impossible to materially correct or set aright.
  • adj. incurably depraved; not reformable.
  • adj. impervious to correction by punishment or pain.
  • adj. unmanageable.
  • adj. determined, unalterable, hence impossible to improve upon.
  • adj. incurable.
  • n. An incorrigibly bad individual

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not corrigible; incapable of being corrected or amended; bad beyond correction; irreclaimable.
  • n. One who is incorrigible; a person whose persistent bad behavior cannot be changed; especially, a hardened criminal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Incapable of being corrected or amended.
  • Bad beyond correction or reform; irreclaimable: as, an incorrigible sinner or drunkard.
  • Synonyms Incurable, hopeless, irrecoverable, irreclaimable; graceless, shameless, hardened.
  • n. One who is incapable of amendment or reform.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. impervious to correction by punishment


Middle English, from Latin incorrigibilis : in-, not; see in-1 + corrigere, to correct; see correct.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1340, from Old French incorrigible (1334), or directly from Latin incorrigibilis ("not to be corrected"), from in- "not" + corrigere "to correct" + -ibilis "-able". (Wiktionary)


  • Anna Penrhys knew him, and treacherously revealed some of the enemy's secrets, notably concerning what he termed our incorrigible turn for bribery.

    The Adventures of Harry Richmond — Volume 6

  • He has often lamented, with tears, what he called my incorrigible depravity, and encouraged himself to perseverance by the notion of the ruin that would inevitably overtake me if I were allowed to persist in my present career.

    Memoirs of Carwin, the Biloquist

  • An incorrigible is a terrible human being — at least such is the connotation of "incorrigible" in prison psychology.

    Chapter 2

  • An incorrigible is a terrible human beingat least such is the connotation of "incorrigible" in prison psychology.

    Chapter 2

  • They were starting to lean on us, and for punishment had put us in "incorrigible row."

    Storz, Ronald E.

  • The word "incorrigible" -- a word lately pronounced by Dr. Monygham -- floated into her still and sad immobility.

    Nostromo: a Tale of the Seaboard

  • Obviously, she knew Sinatra was incorrigible, which is why she didnt want him around the White House, but she really did not know he had been'Jack's pimp all those years ago.

    Sinatra The Man Behind the Myth

  • A few incorrigibly bad boys there will always be -- incorrigible, that is, when they have reached public school age.

    The School and the World

  • Her mother in anger calls her incorrigible; her father smiles and calls her mad.

    The Fugitive

  • David Allan Coe has been called incorrigible, crude and hilarious. rss feed


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  • adjective: impervious to correction by punishment

    Tom Sawyer seems like an incorrigible youth until Huck Finn enters the novel; even Sawyer can't match his fierce individual spirit.

    October 19, 2016

  • One of the boys in "The Sound Of Music." was this.

    August 5, 2012

  • also used neatly in 'Mary Poppins'..

    December 7, 2008

  • Used neatly in the construct 'hopeless and incorrigible'.

    August 15, 2008